I’ll admit, I like to keep my finger on the foodie pulse — as does blogger Emma Mykytyn, who runs Food and Drink Glasgow.
So it was no surprise that, when it came to organising a Fringe event, Emma suggested pitting southside eateries against each other in a battle of mac and cheese — one of the biggest trends bouncing around Glasgow menus at the minute (there’s even an appreciation club — with the rather addictive acronym SMAC, no less).
Anyone wandering through Shawlands on Saturday would have spotted gaggles of hungry Fringegoers armed with brown paper bags and on the hunt for the southside’s tastiest mac.
The premise of Pastaval (another great name) was simple; one ticket bought you a bowl, a fork and a scorecard, and on you wandered to sample five portions of cheesy goodness.
The other half and I headed to the Waverley Tea Room first, grading their creamy offering on taste, texture, temperature, aroma and appearance.
From there, it was a leisurely roll between The Social, Jayz Bar, Buddy’s and the Brooklyn Cafe, each time handing over a picnic bowl like overgrown, starch-stuffed Olivers.
I loved The Social’s use of red and green peppers and Brooklyn’s offer of either bacon or pulled pork-mixed mac — but then I’m partial to a little sharpness of flavour to cut through all that creaminess.
The OH saved his highest scores for a crumb-topped effort by Buddy’s — and I’ll admit, much like everything I’ve eaten at the oft-namechecked burger joint, it was very good.
Still, the Pastaval-going public voted differently, and the Waverley Tea Room clinched a (very impressive) macaroni trophy, followed by Buddy’s in second, Jayz in third, Brooklyn Cafe in fourth and The Social in fifth places.
Perhaps this reviewer needs to brush up on her mac and cheese — regardless, here’s hoping that Pastaval was the first of many fun foodie events @GlasgowFoodie has planned for the southside.